Tomorrow (all being well), I’ll finally run my 250th parkrun. It’s taken me a long time (nearly 8 years) and there has been a lot of change in that time. I’ve run 6 marathons, learnt to swim and completed two Half Ironmans. I’ve also had a baby 🙂
My first parkrun was at Eastleigh on 07/08/10. I had read about it in the local free paper and thought it might be a good way to help me train for a 10k charity run. I had only run a 5k once before (Race for Life), but I was determined that I would run the entire parkrun. It took me 31:46 to complete the run.
I ran at three different locations for Eastleigh parkrun: Lakeside, Wide Lane Sports Ground and Fleming Park. Lakeside will always have a special place in my heart. My PB for Eastleigh (25:08) was set at Fleming Park.
I once won the points competition at Eastleigh… and then forced my own retirement from the competition by becoming a Run Director. I’ve been a Run Director at Eastleigh, Netley Abbey and Southampton and was also Event Director at Southampton. I was the Run Director at Southampton’s inaugural parkrun.
I’ve run at 23 different locations (and missed out on some parkrun tourism on the Isle of Wight because I didn’t know that it was at its alternative course). Internationally, I’ve done three different parkruns: three runs in Australia (at North Wollongong and Orange) and once in Denmark (Amager Faelled).
I’ve run 140 times at Southampton, 73 times at Eastleigh, 7 times at Penrose and 6 times at Netley Abbey.
My PB at Southampton is 23:40, which I set almost exactly a year ago (on 6th May 2017). I’ve set 34 PBs, 17 of which were at Eastleigh. (Oh the joys of being a novice runner!) If I can beat 27:24 tomorrow at my 250th parkrun then that will be my fastest time for 2018.
Running whilst pregnant
I ran at Southampton parkrun throughout my pregnancy. I even ran on M’s due date and was delighted to finish in 30:56.
I’ve officially volunteered 132 times (but I unofficially token sorted every week at Eastleigh for over a year… it was unofficial as I wanted my point for the points competition!)
This year, I’ve become a parkrun ambassador in the hope that I can give back to a community that has given me so much.
That’s a rundown of my journey to my 250th parkrun – if you’re at Southampton parkrun tomorrow, please join me for cake!